Local Interest

Nathan Rice has been appointed Extension Educator in 4-H Youth Development for Nebraska Extension, based in Scottsbluff.

His appointment was announced by Dr. Jack Whittier, Director of Research and Extension for the Panhandle. Rice began his duties in May and will be based at the Extension Office in Scottsbluff. He will serve Scotts Bluff, Kimball and Banner counties, providing support and leadership for regional, and statewide, 4-H youth development programs in science education, animal science, agricultural literacy, career development, community development, and healthy living.

A tractor safety course for 14- and 15-year-old youths who work on farms is scheduled for June 18 and 19, 2019 at Legacy of the Plains Museum in Gering.

Gering is one of 12 towns across Nebraska where tractor safety courses will be provided by members of the Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health in the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health. The course provides extensive training on tractor and all-terrain vehicles safety with a variety of hands-on activities.

Crops growing in the numerous small plots at the UNL Panhandle Research and Extension Center this summer will include the usual assortment of dry beans, corn, sugar beets, peas and various alternative crops. In their midst, one small plot has rows of plants that look like the dandelions in local yards.

In fact, they are dandelions of a different type. Their roots produce rubber, and this test plot is part of a multi-state collaborative project to see if rubber and biofuels can be grown and processed in the United States from dandelions. The project is titled Biofuel and Rubber Research and their Agricultural Linkages (BARRAL).

Scotch thistle (also known as Cotton thistle, Heraldic thistle, Scotch cotton thistle (Onopordum acanthium L.), introduced into the United States from Eurasia as an ornamental plant in the 1800s, is a non-native biennial forb from the sunflower family, but it can behave as an annual or short-lived perennial.
The Nebraska Environmental Trust has approved a grant to construct a subsurface drip irrigation system that will used effluent from the UNL Panhandle Research Feedlot to water crops on plots near the feedlot. The irrigation system is under construction at the Mitchell Agricultural Laboratory 5 miles north of the Panhandle Research and Extension Center, where the feedlot and various crop research plots are located, according to Xin Qiao, irrigation and water management specialist, the principal investigator on the project.

By Gary Stone, Extension Educator, Panhandle Extension District

Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) is a concept to identify potentially invasive species prior to or just as the establishment of the invasive is taking place.  An Integrated Pest Management plan (IPM) can be developed to manage, contain and eradicate the invasive species before it can spread further.  This will avoid costly, long-term control efforts.

The devastation Nebraska has experienced these past few months is unimaginable. Communities and people’s lives have changed forever. Though not the highest priority, one item that should be addressed in the near future is the chance that invasive plants may show up in areas that have never had them before.

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Nebraska Extension in Scotts Bluff County

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